1 – Mornings are always a struggle
For many, no matter what routine is followed, grogginess is slow to shake in the morning, and caffeine rich drinks are necessary to make it through the beginning of the day.
‘Mounting research suggests that differences in lifestyle, personality, brain functioning, and even brain physicality define two distinct chronotypes (a person’s characteristic sleep pattern), which could roughly be defined as “night owls” and “morning larks.”’
Despite this, there are many people who believe that they are a ‘night owl’, when this isn’t really the case. The reluctance to get up and go to work can replicate many of the traits of the night owl chronotype.
A simple way to test whether you fall into this category is to monitor your sleep patterns. Do you find waking up much easier over the weekend? It may sound simple, but if you find waking up much easier on Saturdays and Sundays, then your problem may be rooted in your feelings towards your job.
2 – Clock watching
Often in any office environment you can see two distinct types of people: the ones who have their heads down, engaged with their work; and the people who are staring out of the window, twiddling their thumbs, or regularly checking the time on the clock.
It stands to reason that if you find yourself looking at the second hand of the clock with more interest than you show any of your daily tasks, then there’s a fundamental problem with your work dynamic.
It’s important to bear in mind that this doesn’t mean you’re just not as motivated as others around you. Find a role in which you have a genuine interest and you can find that your work ethic transforms overnight.
3 – You can’t relate to co-workers
‘Company culture’ is becoming more and more important to both employers and candidates. Often a part of the interviewing process will be to assess not just whether someone has the right skills and experience for a role, but also if they are deemed to be a good fit in terms of the office culture.
From the candidate’s point of view, this can be very hard to get right. Their only understanding of what a company would be like to work for is typically based on nothing more than a one-on-one interview process, and a quick glance around the office. As a result, there are many people who are in roles which are both appropriate and engaging, however they don’t fit in with the office dynamic.
‘No amount of PR-friendly jargon can tell you everything you need to know about a company – either before or during your interview.’ – Forbes
Do you find yourself eating your lunch alone at your desk in silence, or do you interact with your colleagues? Often this is the clearest indicator of whether you really do fit in.
4 – You aren’t being challenged
If you don’t feel challenged at work, there are a few possible options. The first, and sadly a quote common choice of action, is to sit back and start clock watching. If, however, you do have a genuine interest in your work, then the options are more proactive:
The first port of call should be to talk to your line manager. Are you able to take on more work, or more challenging projects? The response that you receive is very important. Remember to be wary of vague and hollow promises; often employers will tell you that things will be different in the future. Try to ensure that these promises are both specific and time relevant.
Should this not result in the answer you were hoping for, then it may be time to look elsewhere for a challenging role.
5 – You can’t picture where you’ll be in 2 years
This may well be the most important factor on our list. There are two simple questions that you need to ask yourself:
Do I want to be in the same role in 2 years’ time?
If so, then is it because there is no room for development? If not it may be time to evaluate your motivations and ambition.
If you don’t want to be in the same role, then it’s time for the second question:
Can I picture what role I would like to have in 2 years’ time?
If you have an answer to this then it’s time lay the groundwork. Create a plan setting out how you want to achieve this goal. Make sure that it’s realistic, too; huge career leaps are rare, and normally development takes place in a more step-by-step manner.
Do you need to move on from your role soon to achieve your plan? It may be possible to achieve this with your current employer, however that may involve a long process of waiting for the right role to become available. When it’s not possible internally, you should consider looking elsewhere to achieve your goal.